£1.9bn spent on regional UK property by GCC & Asian buyers in 2016

£1.9bn spent on regional UK property by GCC & Asian buyers in 2016

New research reveals that international buyers doubled their spend on regional UK property last year, with more non-London investment expected.


  • Middle and Far Eastern investors continue to spend heavily on UK real estate, particularly in key investment cities outside of London
  • Savills estimates that £1.9bn was spent on regional UK property, almost doubling the amount invested 12 months previous
  • With private and institutional global investors finding London prices “challenging”, the trend of international buyers acquiring regional real estate is expected to continue

Investors are spending big on UK property – and more of them are focusing on British regions rather than London.

New research from Savills, exclusively seen by The Sunday Telegraph, has found that investors from the Middle East and Far East doubled the amount they spent on regional UK property in 2016 compared to levels from 2015. An estimated £1.9bn was invested, with one in three investments made in the regional commercial sector made by a foreign buyer.

Paul Brundage, Vice President of the British Property Federation, asserts that despite last year’s Brexit vote creating some uncertainty, the UK remains one of the primary destinations for overseas buyers.

“The UK was one of the preferred markets and that’s still the case today, no matter what we’re experiencing on the political front,” he explained.

It’s outside London where the demand from overseas is currently being felt most keenly. Last year one of the biggest commercial deals was completed by Singapore-based investors for an office park in Reading, while Abu Dhabi Investments acquired the Liverpool One Shopping Centre for £300m.

“We find London challenging from a pricing standpoint,” says Rob Wilkinson, Chief Executive of Paris-based asset management firm AEW Europe. But he added that “in the regions, the pricing is not as acute and the occupational side is pretty good in most city centres.”

Last week the UK government joined delegates from cities across the UK by exhibiting at the Mipim Property Conference in Cannes, marketing some of the latest projects and opportunities in Britain to over 3,500 global private and institutional investors.


Which assets can you still rely on over the next 12 months?

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